accept the idea that foul means could bring fair results. He wanted to see pure politics by way of introducing spiritualism or religion in politics. According to him those who believed that religion and politics should be separated from each other were basically wrong as without spiritualism politics was barren and dirty.
Gokhale believed that constitutionalism could bring more faithful results than the show of force. In the words of R. R. Diwakar when he says, "He believed in vows and taking them publically because a part and parcel of his technique of mass organisation. Once free from the idea of joining Servants of India Society Gandhiji followed the traditional methods of establishing Ashrams for attracting and organising workers for carrying out the purpose in hand. It was far less sophisticated, more simple and less costly and perhaps more indigenous as well as in keeping with the genius of the people."
In his The Story of My Experiments with Truth' Mahatma Gandhi wrote, "Sir Phirozeshah had seemed to me like the Himalaya andLokmanya like the ocean but Gokhale was like the Ganges. One could have a refreshing bath in the holy river. The Himalaya was unscalable, and one could not easily launch forth on the sea but the Ganges invited one to its bosom." Contribution to Indian Political Thought
Gokhale contributed in many ways to the Indian political thought.
1. Political Treatment. One of his remarkable achievements was his
Political- Treatment which he prepared on the suggestions of Lord Wil-
lingdon but which subsequently became the basis of Montagu-Chelmsford
reforms. In the words of C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyer, "// is always easy to
be wise after the events, but it is worth noting that even now, after the
attainment of independence, the lessons of Gokhale's life are not obsolete
nor out-moded. Tliese are relevant now, as we are conformed by enormous
economic and financial problems and crisis of planning." Education. Gokhale's another contribution is in the field of education where he very boldly said that the Government should allocate more funds than what it was hitherto contributing.
Humanism. Gokhale is also remembered as a humanist. He had faith in the good nature of man. For him each one was noble unless he proved otherwise. In this regard his ideas were close to Locke and R.ouseau rather than Hobbes. It has been said rightly, "Thus Gokhale means to me a symbol of that steadfast vision and equipoise, so rare in an atmosphere of political turmoil and impatience. Gokhale was not only a Maharastrian but an Indian; he was not only a Brahman, but a humanist, ■v//.-> broad-mindedly fought for the rights, of all the communities and creeds. I; was v.-'.'o advocated the desirability of education through mother tongue and rri'icised the top heavy expenses on maintaining armies."
Spiritual Politics. Subsequently after him it was accepted even by the father of our nation, Mahatma Gandhi, who laid much stress on this aspect of political life.
Legislative Reforms. In the field of legislation, there was a common belief that the Indians were not good legislators. Britishers usually had an impression that Indians could not express their feelings and opinion on the floor of the House. Gokhale washed away this impression and proved that Indians were good parlimentarians. It has been said about him rightly, "Gokhale was a great parlimentarian. He had wonderful gift of analysing the problems with the cool, calculating viewpoint of a mathematician, shifting arguments for and against and communicating them convincingly." Gokhale and Tilak
Gokhale belonged to liberal school of thought whereas Tilak was an extremist. But being contemporary and belonging to Mahar ishtrian Chitpavan Brahman families both had love for the mother country and every sacrifice for the nation was less. Both were of the opinion that India's past was glorious and her future must also be bright. Both believed that the ultimate aim of Indian national struggle was to take India forward till the ultimate object was achieved. Their difference was primarily in the method of achieving the object. They can be compared in the words of Dr. B. Pattabhai Sitaramayya who wrote in 'The History of Indian National Congress' that, "Gokhale's plan was to improve the existing constitution. Tilak was to reconstruct it. Gokhale had necessarily to work with the bureaucracy; Tdak had necessarily to fight it. Gokhale stood for competition where possible and opposition where necessary; Tdak inclined towards a policy of obstruction, Gokhale's prime concern was with the administration and its improvement; Tilak's supreme consideration was with the Nation and its holding. Gokhale's ideal was love and sacrifice; Tilak's was service and suffering. Gokhale's method sought to win the foreigner, Tilak's to replace him. Gokhale depended on other's help, Tilak on self-help. Gokhale's arena was the Council Chamber; Tilak's fomm was the Village Mandap. Gokhale's medium of expression was English; Tilak's was Marathi."
Assessment of Gokhale
Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. "Wlien the comforts of the world were in Gokhale's reach and could be his, he left them and gave his great talents to the service of the country."
C. P. Ramaswamy Aiyer. "While the leadership of Gandhiji and his associates following on an largely superseding the policies of Tilak and Savarkar and Subhash Bose who all relied upon and violent opposition was the main contributing factor in creating the new national set up, our lively gratitude for this leadership should not, however, render us oblivious to what later had its roots and contributed to its right and influence, namely, the patient intellectual leader the flaming patriotism and self-obligations
GREAT POLITICAL THINKERS
and sense of discipline which Dadabhai Naoroji and Ranade fostered and which Gokhale manifested in the Deccan Education Society." R. R. Diwakar. "The name of Gokhale emerges as a brilliant star which shown for a century and contributed substantially to the purity and an orderly advance of public life and political opinion in India."
M. K. Gandhi. "Sir Pherozeshah had seemed to me like the Himalaya and Lokmanya like the Ocean but Gokhale was like the Ganges. One could have a refreshing bath in the holy river. The Himalaya was unscalable and one could not easily launch forth on the sea, but the Ganges invited one to its bosom."
J. L. Nehru. "Gokhale, fresh from South Africa attended it and was the outstanding person of the session. High strung full of earnestness and a nervous energy he seemed to be one of the few persons present who took politics and political affairs seriously and felt deeply about them. I was impressed by him."
Hoyiand. "He was a great master of the possible, a constructive statesman of the first rank and bringer together of East and West in the common service of needy; above all an idealist, a foreseer, a prophet of new era of inner racial goodwill and cooperation."
Lokmanya Tilak. "He was the diamond of India, the jewel of Maharashtra and Prince of worker's."
Lord Curzon. "God has endowed you with extraordinary abilities and you have placed them unreservedly at the disposal of your country." 25
Dr. B. R. AMBEDKAR
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar held a prominent position among the twentieth century leaders of India. He was widely read in history, culture and religion. He realised that distortion of religion and misinterpretation of history and culture did more harm to Indian social life than foreign invasions and domination for centuries. Ambedkar took upon himself the task of fighting for religious, social and economic equality in the Indian society.
Early Life and Contemporary Conditions
Born on 14th April, 1891, Ambedkar was the last child of his parents, Ramji and Bhimabai. His father and grandfather served in the army and were of well-to-do family. But the stigma of their being members of Mahar community continued to influence their position in the caste-ridden society of Maharashtra. It is believed that Mahars were the original inhabitants of Maharashtra. The term Maharashtra was coined on the basis of Mahar Rashtra. However, Mahars were treated as untouchables by the caste Hindus. Very early in life due to his being Mahar, B. R. Ambedkar had a bitter taste of discriminatory treatment. During his early school career he got to know that birth in a particular community could make all the difference in one's status in society. He and his brother had to carry gunny bags from their home to sit on in the class. They were denied facilities of drinking water, games and mixing with other children. Even teachers would not check their notebooks for fear of pollution. Thus, sowed the seeds of discontentment about Hindu social system in the life of Ambedkar.
However, he continued his education first at Satara and then at Bombay. In 1912, Ambedkar passed his B.A. examination with the assistance and encouragement from the Maharaja of Baroda in the form of scholarship from the prestigious Elphinstone College with distinction. In 1913, under an agreement to serve the Baroda State for ten years after education he was chosen by the Maharaja of Baroda for higher studies at the Columbia University of U.S.A. He made full use of this opportunity and obtained M.A. degree in 1915 and Ph. D. in 1916 on his thesis, "National Dividend for India."
GREAT POLITICAL THINKERS
At Baroda and Bombay
In 1917, Ambedkar joined the Baroda State Service under agreement of the scholarship. He did not get respectable treatment because he belonged *o an untouchable community. His subordinates would throw files on his table and would not serve him even drinking water. He complained against unbearable treatment to the Maharaja but no one could able to change the situation. In utter frustration and disgust he left Baroda for Bombay only after five months. He first started a business and then joined as Professor of Political Economy in Sydenham College, Bombay in 1918. As a teacher he quickly earned reputation among students and his fellow teachers due to his brilliance and command over his subject. However, very often he felt insulted due to the behaviour of high caste colleagues in the college. In 1920 he resigned the job to resume his studies in law and economics in London.
In 1918, the first All India Depressed Classes Conference was held at Bombay. In it some social reformers like Lokmanya Tilak raised voice for the uplift of the untouchables. Ambedkar felt that expression of such sympathy for his community within the framework of the existing social structure of Hindu society could not bring about any change in the situation. Therefore, Ambedkar demanded separate electorates and reservation of seats for depressed classes in proportion to their population. In 1919 when the Montford Reforms were being formulated, he emphasised the need of social equality before the demand of Home Rule.
Advanced Studies in England
In September 1920, after a break of about four years, Ambedkar rejoined the London School of Economics and Political Science. He also entered Gray's Inn to qualify as barrister. The generous Maharaja of Kolhapur Shahu Chhatrapati offered financial help to Ambedkar in the resumption of his studies which he accepted gratefully. He devoted all his attention to studies. In 1921, the University of London accepted his thesis "Provincial De-centralisation of Imperial Finance in British India", for M.Sc. Economics degree. In 1923, he submitted his thesis for D.Sc. (Eco.) on the subject, 'Vie Problem of the Rupee - its origin and its solution.' In the same year he was also called to the Bar. These academic attainments prepared him to face any situation in future life.
Love for Books
During his stay in U.S.A. and England, Ambedkar cultivated a special taste for good books. His thirst for books often made him to sacrifice his daily needs for the sake of buying some books. He built a great collection of books in his personal library in Bombay on subjects like law, philosophy, religion, sociology, economics, politics and political
Dr. B. R. AMBEDKAR
biographies. At the time of the Second Round Table Conference he bought books in London and sent them to India in 32 boxes. Ambedkar distinguished himself in many subjects like history, economics, politics, law, constitution and religion. Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya offered to purchase his entire library for two lakh rupees for the Banaras Hindu University.
Influence of Buddha
Ambedkar extensively : tudied the history of human relationship in the Indian society. He was pa-ticularly impressed by the work of Lord Buddha, Kabir and Jyotiba Phoo'ey. He believed that political revolution of the Indian society was preceded by the religious and social revolution of the Buddha who took the stand against the Shastras which preached sacredness of caste system in Hindu society. Buddha taught the noblest doctrine of love for all. According to Ambedkar Buddhism was a great revolution - it started as a religious revolution but developed into social and political revolution. He compared it with French Revolution.1 Starting, the history of social reform movement in India Lord Buddha preached non-violence as a way of life. He preached against Chaturvarnya and the view that Sudras and women could not become Sannyasis. Ambedkar was impressed by the Tripitaka statements that 'real religion lives in the heart of man and not in the shastras.' About Buddha, Ambedkar said, "No man ever lived so godless yet so godlike".2 During the medieval period, Kabir launched a campaign against the evils of caste system in the Hindu society, yet Hindus did not follow these social reformers.
Influence Jyotiba Phooley
In the nineteenth century a great crusader of social equality was Mahatma Jyotiba Phooley carried the movement for social equality in Maharashtra and founded Satyashodak Samaj (Society of Seekers of Truth) in 1873. Phooley staged a revolt against caste system which denied ordinary human rights to all the members of Hindu society. Ambedkar praised him as the first man who inspired confidence in the masses. Phooley opened schools for women in 1848 and for untouchables in 1851. The Maharaj of Kolhapur Shahu Chhatrapati called Phooley the 'Martin Luther of Maharashtra'. His Satyashodak Samaj preached three things :
God is one and all beings are His children.
There is no need of middle man between God and man.
Greatness should not depend on the conditions of birth—what caste man is born in.
Babasaheb Ambedkar : Writings and Speeches, Vol. HI, p. 153
Ibid, p. 167.
Ambedkar under the teachings and inspiration of Mahatma Phooley cherished the ideal of society based on equality, liberty and fraternity. As a mark of respect, he dedicated to Phooley his book Who Were Shudras.
GREAT POLITICAL THINKERS
Critique of Hindu Society ,
B. R. Ambedka: studied the Hindu social system objectively dispassionately. Though Hindu culture is based on high ideals of violence, tolerance, love and humanitarian service, the social life su by inherent contradictions. The ideals of freedom, equality and ju could not be realised in practical social life. According to Amb the gap between theoretical ideals and practical life in Hindu was the main cause of its weakness and consequent subjugation for turies. The Hindus were never a society as an organised system of individ with a common purpose. They were always a system of castes with diffe rights and purposes. According to Ambedkar, "Hindu society as does not exist. It is a collection of castes, each caste is conscious ( existence. It is not even a federation.1
Against Caste System
A society is always composed of classes, social, economic and
tellectual. An individual in a society is always a member of a class. T
most unfortunate characteristic of Hindu society was that classes developM
into a castes, a parcelling into bits of a larger cultural unit. While a$
civilised society would accept division of labour, Hindu society gave sand?
tion to the division of labourers into watertight compartments. Ambedka^
realised that social stratification of occupations by caste system was a-
pernicious development. In Hindu society social rules subordinated natural
powers and inclinations of individuals. J
Denial of Equality
The Hindu social order does not recognise the principle of equality It was given to believe that men differ from birth. What is important is to what class a man is born. Thus Hindu social order is based 0* graded inequality and the principle of fixity of occupation, regardleSj of a person's ability and quality. Hindu social order denies individual, freedom. The responsibility of upholding and maintaining the social system was given to the king. By denying the right of education, resentmentf and use of arms, the social and economic status of lower castes wai fixed. Hindu social order was declared the sacred Divine order. All p0** sibilities of change, abrogation and criticism were ruled out. As all the classes are mutually exclusive, hence there is no free social intercourse. Hindu social order never recognised the individual as a centre of S0^*J purpose. Instead the social life was based on Varna (Class) of whid| originally there were four. Later on the class of untouchables was added to the four varnas. Man was entitled to rights and privileges due to the class he belonged to. In disregard to individual merit God created aB men yet they were not created as equal. The four varnas later on g*1* 1. Babasaheb Ambedkar : Whangs and Speeches, Vol. I, p. 50.
Dr. B. R. AMBEDKAR
i to innumerable subcastes in each varna or class. Class consciousness fclass conflict has been basic in Hindu society. Rigid rules of marriage, and social customs prohibited Hindus to grow as a harmonious minify.
According to Ambedkar class composition of society is quite based £B economic and social consideration is a common feature in all societies the world. In Hindu social system, it is based on birth with sanction jfpengion. The religious sanctions of class division made the social situation j§Jadia more difficult. The religion of Hindus prohibits them from free facial life and social interchange. Hindu religion treats some men as Htpuchables and denies them equal rights in society. No amount of education, social reform movement and constitutional guarantee of equality Opuid bring the caste system to an end. Though Hinduism is a liberal Ifjjjgpon in all matters, yet it gave sanction to complete segregation of •class known as untouchables. It amounted to declaring that untouchables UK not human beings and not fit for social association.1 Ambedkar patented that Hindu law givers Manu, Yajnavalkya, Narada etc. framed fews of conduct and social life in a manner to create a permanent division society. Division was created between touchables and untouchables. A class of people were given only duties with no rights. Under the stigma •f untouchabihty there were denied human treatment. The higher castes m Hindu society enjoyed all rights and privileges. In the name of code of conduct they were even allowed freedom to maltreat a section of the society called untouchables. As compared to Muslims and Christians, Hindus always presented themselves as a divided house and not as a homogeneous community.
With the growth of caste system among the Hindus, the Hindus religion *ased to be a missionary religion. It became a weapon in the hands w orthodox Hindus to persecute the reformers of the society. Ambedkar Believed in liberty, equality and fraternity as the principles of ideal social tystem. He said, "There cannot be a more degrading system of social Wganisation than chaturvarnya. It is a system which deadens, paralyses *« cripples the people from helpful activity."2 Hinduism is based on principle of graded inequality. As unprivileged classes did notj stand ?,50nun°n footing they could not unite to attack unjust social structure.